Nadine Labaki presented her first gift to cinema in 2008. The tales of Layale, Rose, Nisrine, Jamale and Rima intertwine sweetly in this film of friendship and solidarity. The five companions live and work in Beirut, but there is no mention of war, bombs or sectarianism in this Lebanese drama. Caramel is a truly universal film, depicting the pain and tribulations of life made bearable with sprinklings of typical Lebanese humour. Each personality is complex in character, all of whom support each other as they struggle against their individual demons. One effortlessly connects with the women – their stories are relatable, even if exaggerated through the director’s lens. Labaki has a unique ability to tap into our sensibilities and awaken our emotions with subtlety and ease. One of the few films I have watched again and again. Beautiful and poignant.